Tuesday, September 2, 2014

CHANGE OF PLANS - NOT THE SLIDEOUT THIS TIME

Currently in Great Falls MT (Low 46 Periods of Sun High 77) 
Heading to Billings MT (Currently 62 Sunny High 82)

The slideouts came in yesterday just fine, we did our walkaround the site after hooking up and the flashers were working on the Cameo. We did our brake and hitch connection test before we left and then we get a "Fault in Trailer Wiring" notice and no trailer brakes. Since yesterday was Labor Day nobody was open for service so we headed back to our site. The cats were sure confused on such a short travel day.

After lunch Bob did some troubleshooting and internet research. Since it involves sparky stuff and he is a gear head he maybe isn't too sure about the results but he thinks it is the power cord from the Cameo. Bob called repair places this morning and found one that could work on it this afternoon. He drove the Ford there this morning and they tested the plugs on the truck and both of those were working so they can concentrate on the Cameo this afternoon. We will take the Cameo in tow there and if they figure it out quickly we will head to Billings. If not we will spend another night in Great Falls.

We will keep you posted. Thought I would share the cats photo again. We are always trying to get a photo of all three but invariably one moves or jumps out of the frame. This one is one for the ages.




So Lord willing, the slideout comes in AND the trailer wiring issue is resolved, we will be leaving for Billings late afternoon arriving while there is still light.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, September 1, 2014

DICK'S RV PARK AND A BEAUTIFUL CHURCH IN GREAT FALLS MONTANA

Currently in Great Falls MT (Low 45 Breezy with Clouds and Sun Currently 52)
Heading to Billings MT (Currently 53 Some Sun and Shower High 74) 

A great thing about traveling this great country of ours is seeing a lot of beautiful churches. We went to Mass at St. Ann Cathedral in Great Falls over the weekend. Here is the church exterior.




The main and side altars.




Closeup of the main altar.




A beautiful side altar.




The Bishop's Doors. Since this is a Cathedral, the Bishop's Church, there are doors that are opened only when the Bishop is in the Church. Since the Pastor was saying Mass these doors remained closed.




We spent the week at Dick's RV Park which has to have the best handout of any park we have been at. Supersized in both size and content. A map of Great Falls on the background plus details on park water pressure and propane sales with coupons for some area restaurants this handout has it all. Here is the Cameo from the front in the park. As you can see there is good space between the sites.




From the back showing the dish getting a great signal. As you can see there are few trees to block the dish.




The view to the right shows wide roads




As does the view to the right.




We took these photos nearing dusk to catch this great sunset.




Here is the Cameo and that great sunset.




Another great week as we continue our trek across this great country of ours. We'll end with a rare shot of all three cats in one frame, this time enjoying the sun at Dick's RV Park.




We head to Billings Montana today, Lord willing and the slideout comes in.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, August 31, 2014

LEWIS AND CLARK EXPLORING - FALLS AND INTERPRETIVE CENTER EDITION

Currently in Great Falls MT (Low 49 Passing Storms High 68) 

During their winter at Fort Mandan during the winter of 1804-1805 the Mandan Indians told Lewis and Clark they would travel on what is now called the Missouri River for a ways and then come upon "great falls". Here is the Great Falls before the Ryan Dam was built and at high water time, this is from the internet. This is close to the falls as they appeared to Lewis and Clark.




Realizing that they had to portage around the falls William Clark was sent ahead to scout the best passage. What he found was four more falls, along with the Giant Springs that we blogged about yesterday, making the trip even longer. It turned out to be an 18 and 1/4 mile portage around the falls. We toured the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and they had this diorama depicting part of the journey to portage the big canoes around the falls.




The Interpretive Center is neat and deserves a visit. You walk a timeline of their journey westward. There are a lot of different films and talks throughout the day. You could spend an entire day here. We even heard the folklore about the Welsh Indians, how explorers from Wales predated Columbus and intermingled with the Indians. For our journey it is back to the falls. Here is what Great Falls and Ryan Dam looked like to us during low water.




The viewing for the dam/falls is on a island and you cross this bridge which can sway. 




For those that know Jo she was very brave and went across the bridge. Bob stopped to take a picture and Jo kept going slowly while clinging to the hand rails. When Bob finished he walked at normal speed and the bridge started swaying. Jo planted her feet, gripped the hand rails even tighter and yelled 'nobody move'. Luckily it was only Bob on the bridge at the time and he knew to pay attention. We then walked together very slowly there with no swaying for the remainder and for the return trip. Here is the shot downstream that Bob was after.




Here is what Great Falls/Ryan Dam looks like during high water, taken from the internet.




Of the four remaining falls only three are visible. The damming of the river has caused Colter Falls to be flooded. We wished we were here during high water as it would even be more impressive. Here is Crooked Falls, also known as Horseshoe Falls.




Rainbow Falls and Dam




Black Eagle Falls and Dam with Great Falls, the town, in the distance.




Great Falls was a treat to visit and learn more about the Lewis and Clark Expedition. All of these sights were within 20 miles of our park.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, August 30, 2014

LEWIS AND CLARK SIGHTSEEING - GIANT SPRINGS EDITION

Currently in Great Falls MT (Low 55 Mostly Cloudy with a Thunderstorm High 74) 

Who knew there was so much to see in Great Falls Montana. We sure didn't until we got here. That is the beauty and grandeur of this country, you can choose a place to spend a few days because it is convenient for your trip and end up with some incredible memories.

Great Falls figured prominently in the Lewis and Clark Expedition, much more on that later. Today we will talk about Giant Springs, which is along the Missouri River. Our first glimpse of Giant Springs was along the Roe River, in 1989 named the world's shortest river at 201' by the Guinness Book of World Records.

Here is the Roe River flowing out of Giant Springs under the bridge.



The Giant Springs. 150 million gallons of water per day flow from the springs.



Up close the springs flowing over rocks.



Ducks enjoying the flow from the springs into the Missouri River.



Springs bubbling up.



Extremely clear water, yes there is water on top of the vegetation.



The springs to the Roe River.



Of Giant Springs William Clark noted (typed from his journal with all the grammar issues)

" . . . we proceeded on . . . to the largest fountain or Spring I ever saw , and Doubt if it 
is not the largest in America Known. this water boils up from under th rocks near   
the edge of the river and falls imediately into the river 8 feet and keeps it colour  
for 1/2 a mile which is emencely Clear and of a bluish Cast . . ."

~ Capt. William Clark, June 18, 1805


Also in the Giant Springs State Park is a trout hatchery. Here are the show fish that you can feed.



One of the areas with trout ready to be released. 



This is just one of the many neat things to see and do related to Lewis and Clark in the area, stay tuned.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A CALL FOR MORE CREATIVITY

Currently in Great Falls MT (Low 53 Sunny to Partly Cloudy High 84) 

Consider this a call for more creativity in street names. The latest bad example is our current town of Great Falls. The streets are numeric with either a street or avenue with an occasional named street like Central. Being at the intersection of 9th and 10th just doesn't make sense and shows a complete lack of creativity.





It can also cause problems like it did for Bob yesterday. After dropping off Jo for her haircut he was going to get the truck washed. He had checked the route before he left and he knew he would be increasing in numbers along the way. He hadn't heard anything from the GPS on his smartphone for awhile and glanced at it and saw it was blank. Pulling off to the side of the road he hurriedly put in his destination again, or thought he did. He didn't worry when a couple of turns ensued figuring he had passed his turn. And he wasn't bothered when the numbers were increasing until, until that is he started recognizing features close to Jo's haircut place. He wanted to increase in Streets but was increasing in Avenues, if that makes any sense. Of course it doesn't make sense!!

Turns out the destination he hurriedly chose was the haircut place and because of construction he ended up on a different way back to the place. So he pulls off again and puts in a new destination making sure it is the truck wash place. Why can't all the towns be like Kansas City where you can stand on the corner of 12th Street and Vine? 




Not 12th Street and 12th Avenue for heavens sake. Or why can't towns be like Winslow Arizona where you can be standin' on the corner?




Jo says we just don't get out much.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

ADDED OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, NEW YORK MAPS

Currently in Great Falls MT (Low 52 Mostly Sunny High 84) 

Part of the planning for next summer involves making sure we see what we want to see. As mentioned before Bob has been gathering tidbits about locations all over the country into documents. Then he enters those sites into a Google Map. Since some of those maps exceed the 200 marker limit set by Google he uses mapchannels.com to convert that Google Map with multiple pages into a single view. He recently completed the maps for Ohio.



Pennsylvania



New York



On the left of our blogs is the following section, 'Our Google Maps - Places to See and Eat'.




Stay tuned, he will be adding more maps since we will be seeing a lot of new states next summer.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - TO GREAT FALLS MONTANA

Currently in Great Falls MT (Low 42 Mostly Sunny High 78)

We left St. Mary Montana yesterday and headed to Great Falls Montana. Wouldn't you know it the weather finally cleared after 6 days of rain. Here is a shot taken from the truck as we were leaving.



Oh well, at least it was a nice travel day. It was approximately 170 miles, here is the route we took.


View Larger Map


We are staying at Dick's RV Park. While here we plan to catch up on shopping and do a little sightseeing.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, August 25, 2014

ST. MARY GLACIER PARK KOA

Currently in St. Mary MT (Low 37 Cloudy Currently 40)
Heading to Great Falls MT (Currently 48 Showers Later High 67)

Location, Location, Location! You could not ask for a better location than the Glacier Park KOA. We are very close to the east entrance of Glacier National Park. Although the weather has been cloudy and rainy every day except the day we went into the park it still has been a fun time. Jo got a lot of reading done and Bob planned more of next years big trip out east. If its going to be cloudy and rainy you could not picture a more scenic place. We especially liked the cloud formations in the surrounding area and how low hanging they were. These shots were taken out our back window.





There are not a lot of trees around so just about any site would work for our satellite dish but we have a backin with a nice view of Glacier National Park. The view to the left of GNP during a more sunny time.




Straight back from our window.




The view to the right of GNP.




Here is the Cameo in the site.




The campground to the right.




The campground to the left.




This KOA has Kabins, upscale lodging in park models that have DirecTV dishes, and tent areas. There is a nice path down to St. Mary Lake. Wish we could have done more walking and picture taking but it rained most of the time we were here.

We are off to Great Falls Montana today, Lord willing and the slideout comes in.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, August 23, 2014

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK - WATERFALLS EDITION

Currently in St. Mary MT (Low 36 Cloudy with Showers High 53) 

We were surprised about how many waterfalls we saw along the Going-to-the-Sun road in Glacier National Park. So many that we decided they earned their own blog entry.









It was a great day first of all because Jo is feeling better. Add to that a grizzly bear, scenery and waterfalls and you have a great day. We are so blessed to be able to travel this great country at our own pace and see such gorgeous things.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo